RX Radio presenter James Onen, commonly known as Fatboy, has remarked that change happens because of the public mindset, but not by political satire.
He and Olive Najjuma, the other presenter on the show, were commenting on the National Unity Platform's inaction against the sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities when their counterpart Dr. Kiiza Besigye, was being arrested for doing so a number of times.
Fatboy was cynical about the actions and intentions of some activists. He referred to Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a Ugandan satirical novelist recently nominated for the Disturbing the Peace Award.
“He was so gleeful about it and I partly believe that he seems to be reveling in the fame and spotlight than whether or not the things he says or writes have any impact on the country, which I would argue they don't,” said Fatboy.
On the contrary, Olive said that satirical books such as I Will Marry When I Want, written by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, have prompted political change because they expose governments and the political oppression of their citizens.
Fatboy, unconvinced, said the elites believe much in rhetoric than taking physical action, yet many writers and opposition leaders write to gain clout among other personal interests.
“To me, that is the ultimate undoing and hubus of the elite. We believe too much in the power of rhetoric, yet change is more of a mindset and cultural issue of society and not some fancy speeches. Because can you think of a community with better orators than black Americans, yet when you talk to their activists, they will tell you that the black community is worse off today than it was 50 years back.”
Further, he said that the public should be immune to such talk because, in the end, the politicians will use it to misguide them.
“When you venerate the power of speeches and words, you condition yourself vulnerable to politicians' lies and fraud. They tell people what they want to hear and use that to deceive and rob them blind. To break that cycle, I think people need to become immune to that cheap sweet talk,” he emphasized.
Olive insisted that satire is irresistible because it gives a voice to the oppressed and a possible hope of change.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.